Multiple news outlets reported this week that Chicago drivers spend a total of three (3) days a year caught in traffic. This is the 8th worst total in the U.S. These findings come from a study prepared by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, who published their findings last week.
On average Chicago drivers spend 73 hours a year stuck in traffic. The report found that traffic delays cost commuters $1,307 per year.
Those of us who live in Chicago are probably not surprised by these numbers. There always seems to be heavy traffic on the main highways and on Lake Shore Drive, regardless of the time or the day of the week. Experts have stated in the past and continue to state that the main cause of traffic congestion is that more people are working than ever. The economy remains strong and the majority of households have duel incomes.
The only solution appears to be alternative mass transit options. The irony with Chicago is that we already have some of the best train and bus lines in the country. The CTA provides multiple train line options into downtown from all directions along with a constant flow of buses. Those who live in the suburbs have the Metra train lines. Also, over the last 15 to 20 years Chicago has added more dedicated bike lanes than any other major metropolitan city. The only other option appears to be building more roads, but experts have said that this only contributes to the problem. I guess some people will seek employment that allows them to work remotely or from home. Right now I do not see any real solutions for traffic congestion in Chicago.